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Insecurity In Nigeria: Lagos State Set To Ban Commercial Motorcyclists

Okada Riders

The Lagos State government has taken a step to curb the rate of insecurity in the state by further strengthening the ban imposed on commercial motorcyclists, also known as okada riders, in the state. With several crimes reported in several parts of the state, the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is set to announce a new policy on okada riders operation in the state.

With the spate of crime perpetrated by the okada riders on the increase, it is claimed that the policy to be unveiled on Tuesday, May 17, 2021, would be aimed at imposing a further ban on okada riders. An insider in the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation revealed to Sunday Tribune that part of the policy would include a roll-out of buses that would help ease the transportation burden in the event that commercial motorcyclists are banned. According to him, “as more buses are rolled out across routes in Lagos, that means okada is gone forever.” There have been partial okada bans in the past – in some areas – but the incoming ban seems to be a total eradication in all parts of  Lagos metropolis.

This policy is set to be rejected by the over 400,000 okada riders who ply Lagos’ roads as they see the policy as inhuman and inconsiderate but when asked why the commercial cyclists have not been carried along, the source was quick to point out that the okada riders have been asked to form themselves into a formal body under the National Union of the Road Transport Workers (NURTW), which will help in organizing them, but they have refused to do that.

This is not the first time the Lagos State government will be announcing a ban on commercial motorcyclists in the state. Former Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, issued an okada ban in 2012, restricting their operation in certain parts of the states, however, they have since returned to all the routes they were banned from. That being said, this incoming ban seems certain because it is the first time an immediate alternative is provided (buses) to provide an easy landing for road users.

One thing is sure, with the rising insecurity levels in the state and the use of okada to perpetuate all kinds of crime in different parts of Lagos metropolis, it does seem like okada riders have run their course in Lagos state. The state command of the Nigeria Police Force released a report that between January and early May, okada riders have been responsible for 83 percent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal accidents in the state. Also, they have been involved in 218 criminal incidents with 480 guns of various calibers seized.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu further reiterated the above facts when he said:

“The menace of okada operators does not end with avoidable accidents. Crime reports from the field have shown that a greater percentage of crimes ranging from armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary, and stealing to traffic robbery, carjacking, and cash snatching from bank customers are attributable to hoodlums who operate on okada. The nuisance constituted by the okada operators on Lagos roads has become a danger to law-abiding citizens.”

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Search Is On For Kidnapped Actors, Monalisa Chinda Reveals

kidnapped actors

Nollywood actress Monalisa Chinda who announced the abduction of Nollywood veteran actors Clemson Cornel and Cynthia Okereke has now revealed that the search is on to rescue to kidnapped actors.

The actress who is also the Director of Communications for the Actor’s Guild of Nigeria (AGN) took to her Instagram page to express concern over the widely-held false notion that Nollywood actors are rich.

“I don’t understand how people would think that Actors have money… with the paltry sum we receive as fees? The struggle through life vicissitudes, health issues etc we face every now n then???” the actress wrote on the Instagram post she made on August 1.

Chinda also revealed that the search was on to rescue the kidnapped entertainers as the phones with which they have been contacting their family members can be traced. “$100k from where? The numbers that was used to communicate with them can easily be traced. I mean.. ???The search is on???@actorsguildofnigeria Let’s keep reposting please,” she added.

A few days ago, veteran Nollywood actress, Hilda Dokubo said that the showy nature of some celebrities which was part of what is required from the show business was the reason why many people erroneously believed that actors were rich. Dokubo equally expressed concern over the USD100,000 demanded by the abductors saying, “Where will we get one hundred thousand USdollars from? God save all of us from this pain and give us your grace for this period. I know some actors paint the wrong picture on social media all the time but it is only in line with the “Show” part of SHOWbiz. Hopefully, you’ll understand what I mean.”

The kidnapped actors Clemson Cornel and Cynthia Okereke were both returning from a movie set at Ozala of Enugu State on July 29 when they were ambushed by their abductors. Chinda in her statement released to the press said that the National President of the Guild, Ejezie Emeka Rollas had called on all actors to be more security conscious while commuting for work. Rollas “instructed all Actors to avoid going to the outskirt of cities to film except full security cover is provided to ensure their safety.”

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Organ Harvesting – UK Court Grants Bail To Ekweremadu’s Wife But Denies Ike

Beatrice Ekweremadu

Sequel to Ike Ekweremadu and his wife Beatrice’s appearance at the Old Bailey court on Friday, 22nd July for a bail hearing, Judge Richard Marks who is presiding over the case has granted bail to Beatrice Ekweremadu but remanded Ike in custody

The former deputy Senate President and current Senator representing Enugu-West was arrested alongside his wife Beatrice at Heathrow airport on June 23, on allegations of a plot to fly a man to the UK against his will and have his organs harvested for their sick daughter. The couple is charged under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Judge Marks, the Common Serjeant of London on Friday said he was releasing Beatrice only with her adherence to fairly stringent conditions. “The position is that I have granted bail to Beatrice subject to some fairly stringent conditions, but I have refused bail to Ike,” Mark said.

After their arrest in June last month by the London Met Police, the couple appeared in court where it was ruled that they both be remanded in custody while the appropriate authorities proceed with further investigations. The Ekweremadus were brought in after the boy whose organs they plotted to harvest opened up to medical personnel at the Royal Free Hospital (where he was being prepared for the surgery) that he was unwilling to consent. Authorities immediately moved to safely secure him before moving in on the alleged culprits.

The boy has been identified as a certain David Ukpo, a 21-year-old whose age was initially declared as 15 years old. Ukpo is said to be a homeless orphan in Lagos and was brought to the UK against in will for the purpose of harvesting his kidney for Ekweremadu’s daughter who is battling kidney failure.

Investigations have led to the arrest of Dr. Obinna Obeta A Nigerian, UK-based doctor living in Southwark in south London. Obeta has been accused of conspiring with the Ekweremadus and helping to facilitate the travel of Ukpo to the UK.

The next court hearing is scheduled for August 4, 2022.

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Nollywood Actress Ada Ameh Has Passed On

Ada Ameh

Popular Nollywood actress Ada Ameh is dead. She was 48 years old.

Her death has been confirmed by the Actors Guild of Nigeria president, Emeka Rollas. Though Rollas did not give details regarding Ameh’s cause of death, several online sources say that Ameh collapsed while attending a function in Warri, Delta State.

The said function is said to have been hosted by a renowned oil magnate and his family and Ameh was one of the attendants until she suddenly slumped. Sources say she was immediately rushed to the NNPC hospital in Warri but was confirmed dead by doctors upon arrival.

In the weeks leading up to her sad demise, Ada Ameh opened up about her struggles with mental health problems. She shared a video on her Instagram page telling fans about her ill health but retaining a positive note that she was going to fight and recover.

“Everything is going to be fine. I have an issue right now and it is taking my life. I nor go die. We will get over it, we will get over it,” the actress said in the video.

She also added that the illness not only cost her a job but put her at loggerheads with her employers. “I was given a job and I didn’t do the job because I had mental issues. Would people understand when you say you have mental issues? They won’t. They are slamming me with a bill, suing me, it’s okay,” she said.

A few weeks later, her colleague and friend Empress Njamah posted a short clip on her Instagram to update fans about Ameh’s health. Njamah asked that more prayers be made for Ameh who was seen in the video lying beside Njamah.

Ada Ameh was said to have plunged into depression after losing her only daughter to a surgery gone wrong in 2020. She had the child in her teens out of wedlock.

Ameh had a career that spanned over 20 years and was revered for her comedic and melodramatic portrayals. After her breakout in 1996 with the movie, Domitila, she next became known for playing the mother to the comedic duo Aki and Paw Paw. More recently, Ameh was best known for playing Emu, the matriarch of the Johnsons family in the acclaimed Africa Magic TV series,  The Johnsons.

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